Lawmakers pushed for domestic terrorism law after attacks

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Seven days, three mass shootings, 34 dead.

The FBI has labeled two of those attacks, at a Texas Walmart and California food festival, as domestic terrorism. It’s defined as acts meant to intimidate or coerce a civilian population and affect government policy.

Even if there’s a domestic terrorism investigation, no such law exists in the federal criminal code. That means in cases of politically motivated shootings, the Justice Department must rely on other laws such as hate crimes and weapons offenses.

The legal gap has prompted many survivors, victims’ families, lawmakers, law enforcement officials and legal experts to call on lawmakers to create a domestic terrorism law that could aid investigators and punish perpetrators.

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